There is a famous quote it goes something like: “If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a nation”
According to a recent UNESCO statistic, almost a quarter of young women aged 15-24 today (116 million) in developing countries have never completed primary school and so lack skills for work. And, two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female.
The truth is Education empowers women to overcome discrimination.
Girls and young women who are educated have greater awareness of their rights, and greater confidence and freedom to make decisions that affect their lives.
Did you know that over 50% of all jobs in the world require you to have some form of technology or engineering skill? That figure will rise to over 70% in the next ten years.
This means that in order to truly empower women and girls in developing countries it needs to be done through digital skills training.
Africa has the fastest growing digital consumer market and the largest working-age population in the world. It makes sense to invest in technology.
Last week I had the incredible opportunity to be invited to the Intel She Will Connect launch in Kenya. This is a program that aims to close the Internet gender gap by connecting millions of girls and women to opportunity through technology.
The launch event was hosted by JOYWO (Joyful Women which is a Non-Governmental organization that seeks to empower women economically and socially) and officiated by his excellency the Deputy President, William Ruto.
The purpose of this event was to announce the collaboration of JOYWO and Intel to work towards providing digital literacy training to over one million women in Kenya by 2020.
JOYWO trainers will be equipped will technology devices to enable them to carry out face to face training with women and girls across all the counties in Kenya.
At the launch, women who had been through the program and they were awarded their certificates and shared their success stories of how the program has transformed their lives.
She Will Connect Program aims at reaching over 5 million women and reducing the gender gap by 50% in the sub-Saharan region.
“The program is essential if we are to achieve our development agenda” says Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT.
It has been proven that through increased connectivity, young women are able gain access to educational information, government services online, news and information that can be of benefit to them.
By improving a woman’s digital literacy skills and expanding their understanding and use of technology they are able to increase their income, receive a better education, enhance their political participation and ultimately have a stronger voice in their community.
Finally, I will conclude by saying that we cannot succeed as a nation or as a continent if half of us are held back.